The NHL's GM meetings wrapped up this week, and lost in the foofaraw over hits to the head was the Islanders' brilliant idea to render the six months of the regular season meaningless.
Charles Wang, who we remind you must still pay Rick DiPietro for the next 11+ seasons, sent GM Garth Snow to the meetings with a revolutionary new plan for the playoffs. The teams finishing eighth through fifteenth in the conference would play a single elimination tournament for the final playoff sport. It'd be like the Elite Eight, only with the eight worst teams. (So it's like the CBI.)
Let's get this straight. The Oilers, by far the worst team in the league, would merely need to win three games in a row in this "play-in" mini-tourney to make the playoffs.
Forget the logistical problems of staging 14 games around the continent on short notice. Wang claims it would generate interest in those fanbases currently without playoff hopes. Maybe so, but it would demolish the interest anywhere else. At this time of year, the only drama is among those teams on the bubble. Once the seventh seed is locked up, there would be no incentive for any team to go for that eighth spot.
One theory is that the system worked in the Olympics, so Wang wants to import some of that unpredictability. My own theory is that winning three in a row is a lot more plausible for the Islanders than rebuilding a contender any time soon.
A play-in for the playoffs [Globe And Mail]